More Boding than Blood

More Boding than Blood

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Don Gutteridge


Author: Don Gutteridge

Title: More Boding than Blood

ISBN: 978-1-989786-41-3 = 9781989786413 – Softcover

Trade Paperback: 68 pages – 6 X 9 

Suggested Retail (Paperback): $19.95

Genre: Poetry, Canadian

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Reviewed by Jamie Michele for Readers’ Favorite

More Boding than Blood by Don Gutteridge is a compilation of the author’s original poetry as it recounts thoughts on and memories of the moments in his life. The poems are written in free verse format with varied meters and rhythm, but also with a common emphasis through the use of intentional placement of punchy words to obtain syllabic beats. The work itself ranges in both tone and tenor with pieces such as Bejewelled, in which he poetically audits biblical stories and molds them into a brief manifesto of his own contemplation. Another poem, Woo, is a smile-inducing piece recalling the awe and embarrassment of witnessing mating dogs, whereas Serendipity is an adult’s ode to the effortless love and lovemaking of youth, and the strength of that love over half a century later.
      Free verse can be tricky to review because it really is the Jackson Pollock of poetry style, often chaotic and rarely interpreted in whatever manner the artist intended. This freedom to splatter anything one wants on a slice of rag and call it art means that I can go through stacks of poetry books and not find a single one with the panache of Don Gutteridge and his anthology, More Boding than Blood. He is the real deal with regard to his writing and the delicate balance between work that is affecting but also a little mysterious is comfortably struck. The mystery lies in his restraint, parceling out bite-sized moments without lingering on the moments that surround it. This makes the work relatable and, as a reader, I like to feel connected to the pieces I give my precious time to. There are some incredible gut twisters that I was not expecting but definitely heightened the “feels factor” for me. More than Broken forced a gasp from me through an unapologetic depiction of death calling out, “…and when your last breath abandoned your body (with so much unspoken between us), I found myself alone…” This is a beautiful and thoughtful compilation that will likely be enjoyed by all who choose to read it.


Meticulously penned and lyrically creative, More Boding Than Bloodby Donald Gutteridge is a sublime collection of thoughtful, wondrously worded verse. There is a linguistic flair in much of the work, and a playful whimsy with literary tools that makes the reading experience a sincere pleasure – alliteration, assonance, consonance, and unexpected enjambment blend together to form melodic and provocative pieces that will compel readers to return for a second take. Gutteridge’s poetry is also laced with moments of subtle, alluring eroticismIn other moments, the verse is visceral and painfully relatable: I find I’m not / exempt from heartbreak / lost in a cone of aloneness / and left with a grief that burns / like a blister on the bone.The thematic explorations are also broad and bold, from mortality, luck, and lust, to grief, the quiet power of nature, and the freedom of childhood. Without the crutch of rhyme or meter, modern free-verse poetry must stand on its own vernacular prowess, as well as a keen editorial hand, and this collection is brimming with original wordplay and unique metaphors throughout. With nary a word out of place, and exceptional language from start to finish, More Boding Than Bloodis a masterfully written collection.

Editor, SPR Reviews


Reviewed by Mamta Madhavan for Readers’ Favorite

More Boding Than Blood by Don Gutteridge is a collection of poems that speaks about the poet’s memories of childhood where he captures the sights, sounds, and beauty of growing up and living in a small town. The poems revel in the wonders of nature, and also talk about the lives lived and lost giving the collection a reminiscing tone. The poet’s perception of life and his surroundings are enchanting and his exquisite use of words and language lends an air of magic and charm to the poems.

All the poems have a good poetic flow and rhythm to them and are appealing and palpable to readers. I found them well worded and my favorite in this collection is ‘All The Days’ where the poet’s love during the morning, afternoon, evening, and night for his lady love is tangible. It is very romantic and there is also a sense of nostalgia when it ends. ‘I loved you then and all/the days before, and even/though you’ve gone, I love you/even more.’

‘More Than Broken’ is about loss and the grief that follows losing a loved one, where the ruthlessness of Death is spoken about honestly and makes readers feel for the poet’s broken heart. The way the poet perceives death, love, grief, and other emotions is profound and deep and will make readers look at the intricacies and profundities of life with a new outlook. The imagery in the poems is splendid where phrases like ‘butterflies unbutton their wings’, ‘where dandelions danced like spun sun’s lilacs hung like lavender hoops’, etc. will leave poetry lovers wanting more. It is a good collection for poetry lovers to read and enjoy the poet’s way of looking at life.


Reviewed by Carolina Restrepo for Readers’ Favorite

Don Gutteridge’s poems are a breath of fresh air. This collection is filled with honest and relatable poems about life, love, loss, sorrow, childhood, and much more. It’s full of lessons, different points of view, beautiful metaphors about everything there is to love about someone or something. These poems seem to come out of the most vulnerable and deepest part of the author, and they are spectacular. There are a couple of poems that leave you dumbstruck, thinking about everything and nothing at the same time, just stunned. This collection is great for anyone who is going through rough patches in their lives and for people who are as happy as they can be; the themes vary in a way that keeps you melancholic but not sad and helpless. More Boding than Blood is an enthusiastic yet heart-wrenching collection of small but powerful poems. “I wake: disappointed that I did not dream you alive” – Don Gutteridge’s poems strike something inside me that makes me want to weep and reach out to lost loves, family and friends and hug them for as long as I can. Reading this collection of poems is an altogether pleasant experience that can be delayed as much as one can or gobbled up in one sitting, just like I did. The poems make you want to read more and grow with each one differently. The author’s metaphors are too beautiful and powerful to be true. This is the kind of book that you give as a gift to someone you know will need or benefit from it.



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